Cyber ransom is a lucrative tool for criminals

cyber-crime-customer-dataIf your firm’s computer systems have not already been held for ransom, there’s a good chance they could be during 2017. The costs, losses, and damages to design and construction industry firms can be enormous. From restoring files, to paying for project delays, to rehabilitating a firm’s reputation, even one ransomware attack can be devastating.

According to a report from Radware, an international cyber security company, ransom is the top motivation behind cyber attacks. The company’s Global Application and Network Security Report 2016-2017 states that 49% of businesses fell victim to cyber ransom attacks in 2016.

The report pointed out these three characteristics:

  • There are hundreds of encrypting malware types, many of which were developed and discovered this year as part of the report on the success of ransomware.
  • Most companies have not come up with a precise calculation of the losses associated with a cyber attack. Those who have quantified the losses estimate the damage at nearly double the amount compared to those who estimate.
  • Respondents to Radware’s survey said that ransom was the top motivator behind the cyber attacks they experienced in 2016. 27% of respondents cited insider threats, 26% said they suffered “political hacktivism,” and 26% said their competition was responsible for cyber attacks.

The study pointed out that attackers employ an ever-increasing number of tactics to steal valuable information, from ransom attacks that can lock up a company’s data, to distributed denial of service (DdoS) attacks that act as a smoke screen for information theft, to direct brute force or injection attacks that grant direct access to internal data.
Despite the growth in attacks, some 40% of organizations reported that they do not have an incident response plan in place.

Design and construction firms should have adequate response plans. One of the major elements of such a plan is to have appropriate insurance coverage that features a quick-response team to help stem the damage and repair the harm. Schinnerer offers a Cyber Protection Package—a customizable cyber insurance policy that provides firms with a Cyber Breach Response Team.

Schinnerer policyholders can also download our Management Advisory, “Protect Firm Operations from the Disaster of Ransomware,” from our risk management website, which offers strategies for firms in implementing ransomware prevention strategies.

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